Talking to your child about ADHD
Your child may feel sad or angry about having ADHD. It is important to talk to them about their condition. Let them know that it is not their fault that they have ADHD.
Their condition does not define them. In the same way that another child might need eyeglasses to see, your child may need ADHD treatment to be their best self.
Discussing treatment and ongoing symptoms
It’s also important to discuss ADHD symptoms and treatments with your child. Be sure to ask them if their current treatment is helping or if they are experiencing side effects. Additionally, check in with your child to see what symptoms continue to affect them, even with their current treatment.
Some parents may consider giving their child a “drug holiday” - or a planned break from ADHD treatment. Because this can worsen ADHD symptoms and have other negative effects, you should have a conversation with your child and their doctor before considering a break.
Your child’s feelings and reactions should be considered when making further decisions about ADHD treatment. Including them in the discussion can make them more comfortable with their treatment.
Is it time to reconsider your child's ADHD treatment?
Consider the questions below to help you assess the effectiveness of your child’s current ADHD treatment.
Have your child’s ADHD symptoms been effectively managed in the last 6 months?
Has your child experienced negative side effects from their current ADHD medications?
Is it difficult to maintain a consistent treatment schedule with your child’s current ADHD medication?
Has your child ever abused, misused, or become dependent on their ADHD medication?
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ADHD can affect boys and girls differently
ADHD is common among both boys and girls, but this condition is often undiagnosed in young girls. Boys’ symptoms of ADHD often fit the stereotypical ideas about ADHD, whereas girls’ symptoms are often overlooked.
It is important to know what these differences look like in order to better assess your child’s possible ADHD symptoms.
Boys are more likely to:
- Act out and be restless
- Blame external factors for their symptoms
- Suffer from hyperactivity and impulsivity
- Be diagnosed and receive treatment
Girls are more likely to:
- Daydream and underachieve
- Blame themselves for their symptoms
- Suffer from inattention
- Be undiagnosed
Identifying ADHD in girls
Girls with ADHD that goes undiagnosed often develop depression, anxiety, and/or eating disorders that may follow them into adulthood. It’s important not to overlook less obvious symptoms in girls and to get them the help they need.
Talk to your doctor if you think your daughter might be exhibiting symptoms of ADHD.